Famous Jan Matejko masterpiece,...
A beautiful coin dedicated to the legendary oasy town Timbuktu, it belongs to "World of Wonders" series which aims to highlight the most exciting and historically important monuments existing in the world.
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THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA
The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) after the Cathedral and the Baptistry. The height of the tower is 55.86 m (183.27 ft) from the ground on the low side and 56.70 m (186.02 ft) on the high side. The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means that the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from where it would be if the structure were perfectly vertical.
is an oasis town which is situated at the edge of the Sahara. It was established in the 11th century and obtained its prosperity 400-500 years later. During the reign of the Songhay, a nation and kingdom in Africa, this desert city was an important trade centre. Slaves and gold from the South were exchanged for copper, salt and horses from the North. Until the beginning of the 19th century the city was known for its wealth and was considered to be the centre for Islamic scholarships with many schools and libraries. Today Timbuktu is threatened by the constant expanding desert. Since 1988 the three mosques, the graveyards and the Mausoleum are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
is an UNESCO World Heritage since 1984, located in Andalusia, Spain and one of the most beautiful buildings created in the Moorish style. The history of this citadel began in the year 1238 when the Nasrids ruler of that time, Muhammad I. ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr named Al-Ahmar, transferred his residence to Granada. The emirate was known for its technical and cultural progress. In 1492 the Nasrids era came to an end and the Catholic King of Spain took over the reign which is still so to this day.
THE EIFFEL TOWER
was erected between 1887 and 1889. The occasion was the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution and the World exhibition in Paris in 1889 which was held under the same motto. This tower was named after its erector, Gustave Eiffel, although he himself was not the architect. The idea for this landmark came from a Swiss, Maurice Koechlin, who also drew up the first drafts. A few technical specifications: height over 320m, weight 10.000t, building area of 125m x 125m. Up until 1930 it was the highest structure worldwide. Today the Eiffel Tower is used as a television tower, restaurant and viewing platform. This marvel which is considered the symbol of France is visited by more than six million tourists yearly.
is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1986, and for many people it is a mystical place. A vast number of stories, sagas and theories exist about this site. Stonehenge is made up of a megalithic structure which encloses a tomb group. Around 3100 B.C. the first construction work began and took about 2000 years until the final completion. There are still discussions about the utilization. Among other things one assumes it is used as an observatory.
in Cambodia is one of the most famous temple complexes. It was erected by King Suryavarman II. in the 12th century. Ângkôr means „city“ and Vôtt means „temple complex“. The position of the Angkos Wat is unusual. It is oriented towards West. West is the cardinal direction of Yamas – God of death. Therefore the facility signifies a gravesite although this has not yet been proven. It is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1992.
THE EASTER ISLANDS
638 statues named Moais on the Rapa Nui. Up until today their purpose is controversial. One thinks that they represent idolised ancestors which serve as a link between this and another world. Most statues originated approx. 400-500 years ago. They belong to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1995.
in Athens was a fortress which has developed itself into one of the most important sanctuaries during centuries. The most impressive building is the Parthenon (“virgins chamber”) – the temple for the City Goddess Athena. It was erected between 447 B.C. and 433 B.C. The Acropolis was built to thank this Goddess who is thought to have saved the Athenians in the Persian war. The Acropolis is a part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1986.
THE KIYOMIZU TEMPLE
is one of the most famous temples in Japan. Its history dates back to the 8th century. The name Kiyomizu means pure water (Kiyoi mizu). The temple was given this name due to the waterfall within the complex. During 1603-1867 it was a tradition to plunge from the temples big terrace into the forest. The people believed if one survived the 13 meter jump ones wishes would be granted. It is not known if the wishes of those who survived came true. The outcome of this tradition is the Japanese figure of speech; „ jump off the stage at Kiyomizu“, and means as much as „ to come to a decision”.
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
is the most famous landmark in New York. Her height is a proud 46,05 m (without the base) and was inaugurated in October 1886. She welcomes immigrants and home comers. Miss Liberty, as she is fondly called, was a gift from France. A rumour says that the wife of the sewing machine manufacturer Singer posed for the drafts of the Liberty for the French sculptor Bartholdi. Miss Liberty stands on broken chains which represent slavery. In her left hand she holds a slab with the inscription July 4, 1776 which indicates America’s independency. A radiant crown with seven jags decorates her head and symbolises the Seven Seas and continents.
THE ST. BASIL'S CATHEDRAL
is one of the most beautiful landmarks in Moscow. The church was built in the 16th century by order of the tsar of that time, Ivan IV. At first she was white and the domes were coated with leaf gold. In the 17th century the gold domes were replaced by today’s colourfully decorated ones. The white exterior facade also gave way to today’s red and white play of colours. In 1936 the cathedral was supposed to be knocked down as it was in the way during parades on the Red Square. Fortunately this was prevented.
THE NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE
is annually visited by about 1.2 million tourists and is considered to be one of the most beautiful and famous castles in the world. King Ludwig II of Bavaria erected a memorial for himself when he commissioned this fairy-tale castle in 1869. The ruler was only able to live in the romantic Neuschwanstein for a few months. The construction created immense expenses so that after the Kings death in 1886 a great deal of planed labour on the castle was discontinued and to this day has not been completed in the sense of the royal builder.